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Mini Five-Door Test Drive Review

Date: 30 September 2014   |   Author:

This is the car Mini has been waiting for to open the door to the corporate market.

The five-door Mini hatch isn't the first five-door the brand has used to tempt fleets, with the Countryman crossover already in the market, but this new model is much closer to the core of what Mini is all about.

The five-door will boost Mini's true fleet sales from 6500 to 10,500 units in its first full year of sales and will eventually overtake the Countryman as Mini's main fleet player.

The five-door attracts a £600 price premium over the three-door (on all models) but drivers get an increased wheelbase of 72mm and an increase in boot space by 67 litres.

There is also more room for the middle seat in the rear on the five-door and there is plenty of headroom in the front and rear, as well as adequate room to fit in a six-footer in the back, something that isn't particularly comfortable in the three-door.

There's a 60:40 folding rear seat and it's possible to create a flat loading surface with a modular boot floor, which can be stacked on three different levels. Fleets have the choice of speccing a space saver spare wheel, a tyre repair kit or optional run flat tyres, it's up to them.

The 95g/km CO2 Cooper D is expected to take the majority of fleet sales at 50%, while the faster 170hp Cooper SD is expected to take some volume due to only emitting 109g/km.

granitekitchen tested the 1.5-litre Cooper D and it's a capable engine with the 116hp adequate to cope with the extra 40kg of the five-door.

Mini's efficiency technology is standard across the range and includes automatic engine start/stop, shift point display function and brake energy recuperation. An optimised pre-heating process achieves a 50% reduction in the energy required to start the diesel engine, helping to get the CO2 figure down to 95g/km and an official fuel efficiency figure of 78.5mpg.

Adding two new doors hasn't drastically altered the way the Mini hatch drives. Its trademark handling is maintained on this model and the electronic steering set up is a really good example of how some manufacturers can get it right.

The steering offers solid feedback when pushing the car through corners and drivers can adjust settings between Sport, Mid and Green which firms up the steering and throttle response accordingly. The Green mode in particular puts some intelligent control of energy and climate management in action to save on fuel, as well as prompting the gearshift display.

The interior and exterior design cues are carried over from the three-door, with what you would expect from Mini in tact. It's immediately apparent when sitting in the cabin that the five-door is slightly wider and there's a bit more headroom, but beyond that, it's the same well-screwed together interior from the three-door.

A six-speed manual transmission is available across the range and there is a good amount of spec on the Cooper D, with DAB, heated mirrors, keyless start, USB and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. Much like BMW's iDrive, the five-door uses a wheel controller, rather than touch screen to navigate through the menus and this has been carried over from the three-door.

While many drivers will be attracted to Mini purely from the brand alone, the running costs are impressive enough for fleets to take notice.

A 20% tax payer will pay £42 a month for the five-door Cooper D and it works out at 37p per mile to run, in comparison to £44 a month for a top of the range Fiesta Titanium X and an Audi A1 Sportback Sport, with a CPM figure of 40p and 38.2p per mile respectively.

The Mini also undercuts the A1, its closest brand rival, by £585 on the P11D price. The Mini's bulletproof residuals at 44.4% also help make a strong fleet case.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion Tech 90 is actually the cheaper per month on BIK but slightly more expensive per mile. The Fiesta Titanium X also features a lot more standard equipment in comparison to the Mini five-door too, but it doesn't have the same badge cache.

There's not much in it between all of the vehicles in terms of running costs, so that's the head satisfied, which leaves the Mini's brand charm to do the rest.

P11D price         £16,995
Model price range       £14,350-£20,050
Residual value       44.4%
Depreciation         £9445
Fuel           £4628
Service, maintenance and repair   £1644
Vehicle Excise Duty       £0
National Insurance       £1126
Cost per mile         37.0p
Fuel consumption       78.5mpg
CO2 (tax)         95g/km (15%)
BIK 20/40% per month     £42/£85
Service interval       Variable miles
Insurance (1-50)       group 19
Warranty         3 yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space (min/max)     278/719 litres
Engine size/power       1496cc/116hp
Top speed/0-60mph       126mph/9.4secs
On sale         25 October 2014
 

Verdict


Adding two doors will surely open many more for Mini in the UK fleet market
9/10

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